TRAVEL Malaysia: Exploring Penang Island

I remember feeling so excited when I boarded my plane in Singapore at eight in the evening back in September. I had prepared quite an itinerary and intended to follow it no matter what. I recall thinking to myself after the trip that I was glad I chose Penang Island for my first ever solo out of town trip.

I reached Penang International Airport a little past nine. The airport was okay, it was small, similar to the one in Clark or Naga. It was a little deserted I guess because it was a little late already.

My first purchase was a SIM card pack. If I remember correctly, it costed me 10 MYR and it came with 1GB data, which was more than enough for my 2-day stay as I only needed the mobile data for navigation. It was a good investment, really, as I was able to visit so many attractions without me getting lost.

After buying the SIM card, I went outside the airport and waited for Bus No. 401E which would take me to Weld Quay. I paid only 2.70 MYR for the ride which took me to my destination in 45 minutes.

If you’re not as cheap as I am, you can flag a cab. Grab is also thriving. But if I were you, I’d choose the bus not only because it’s whole lot cheaper but it’s also safe and the seats are comfortable and spacious.

I reached Weld Quay at around 10:15 pm and walked for ten minutes and, voila, there’s my hotel! I’m going to write about my Container Hotel experience on my next blog post.

I went to sleep after taking a shower to prepare for my Day 1 in Penang Island!

I woke up at five in the morning haha Iknowriiight I was so excited and couldn’t wait for the day to start only to find out that it was still dark outside. Not wanting to go back to sleep, I explored the inside of the hotel and found this cozy library on the 2nd floor of the building. Definitely my thing though I dint have the time to explore the books..

Finally, the sun came out at 7 am but first things first.. I saw this street art just across the hotel and you know what happened next. I remember it was drizzling that morning but it didn’t dampen my spirit. I can’t recall why I was laughing in this photo but I know for sure that I was happy and contented though very much alone. Alone but happy. πŸ™‚

After the nth shot, the drizzle stopped and I took off to Weld Quay and boarded the CAT bus.

This is a free hop on shuttle bus which takes you to 19 points of interests within the city. It weaves thru the heritage site and to the Komtar commercial district.

After exploring Komtar and taking photos of the Hindu temples and Times Square, I waited for the Penang Hop On Hop Off double decker bus at Stop 6.

I will write about my HOHO experience on one of my next blogs.

I reached Stop # 13 Kelawei in 30 minutes. I chose this as my first stop because of the temples. There are two attractions in Kelawei– the Burmese Buddhist Temple and Wat Chaiyamangalaram (Thai Buddhist Temple).

Both had enormous Buddha statues inside their main temples, one was standing, the other reclined.

Here are the photos I took of the Burmese Temple.

I thought the lady looked so elegant so I took her photo with the enormous Buddha.

The Thai temple was so much bigger. I think there were like three temples inside the complex.

Not to be outdone, the temple’s got it’s own version of a ginormous Buddha– and a reclining one at that!

Please bear with me as I am in the temple-hopping stage at this point in my life. πŸ˜‚

Next stop was Kek Lok Si. It’s this huge temple complex perched on top of a hill and is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in all of Malaysia.

Rows and rows of buddhas around the temple..

Turtle pond at the base of the temple..

After Kek Lok Si, I skipped the rest of the stops on the city route and moved on to the beach route. When switching to the beach route, one will need to drop at the intersecting stop in Gurney Drive. From Gurney Drive, I asked to be dropped off at Holiday Inn to visit Batu Ferringhi beach. From there, I had to ask a local on how to get to the beach without passing through the luxury hotels.

Batu Ferringhi is charming in its own way. It’s not as lovely as the white sand beaches that we got here in the Philippines well firstly because the sand wasn’t white. It would be fairer to compare it to Laiya beach in Batangas.

But like all other beaches, the view was great and there were all sorts of water activities such as jet skiing and parasailing. I would’ve had a go but I brought no spare clothes and I also thought it’d be a little awkward if I went parasailing alone.

So I whiled away my time under a tree near the beach and found company on this cute little fellow.

I know he looks annoyed on the photos but isn’t he a cutie? 😍 I remember feeling so lonely but Mr. Grey made me forget about my loneliness. Yep, he’s the legit Mr. Grey (not that psycho in the movies haha) This kitty is the reason why I missed the 5pm HOHO bus and it was worth it. He was like any other kitty, he purred a lot when I stroked his neck and chain. He also kept on rubbing his soft body against mine. How I badly wanted to take him back home with me 😒.

Every time I look at these photos, I feel a pang of pain huhu I badly miss him! (I know right, crazy cat lady alert 🚨 )

I will surely visit Batu Ferringhi again in the near future and I’d be sure to give Mr. Grey more than just a pat. Yes, I’ma hug him like crazy!

I almost didn’t want to say goodbye but it was time for me to leave to catch the 5pm bus so I had to let Mr. Grey go with a heavy heart. 😭

I headed back to the direction of the road only to watch the HOHO bus pass me by. On my way to the bus stop, I saw these tiny monkeys walking/clinging on the cables. It was such a wow moment. I mean, how often do you get to see stray monkeys on inhabited places? The one which crossed the road thru the cable even stared me in the eye probably realizing that I was lurking.πŸ™Š

The next bus won’t be until 6pm so I decided to walk a little farther to kill time until I reached the next stop, Hard Rock hotel.

I discovered that there was a nearby dirt road leading to the beach so I decided to check it out and I’m glad I did because I got to ride on a horse by the beach! Just my luck! Haha.

The owner of this horse told me that his horse liked me because he was nuzzling me on my neck! I bet that’s how the horse gets to convince tourists like me to ride his back! Kidding!

Here’s the view I got while riding on the horse:

I wished I didn’t have to leave sooner but I also couldn’t wait to reach my next destination before nightfall. You’ll see why on the next photos.

So from Hard Rock, I asked to be dropped at Straits Quay. From there, I walked for about 15 minutes and stopped by this place where streetfood were sold and I meet these two lovely Amirah’s! I forgot the name of the third girl, silly me.

They fed me an assortment of goodies, i forgot what they were called but they’re really good!

Afterwards, I had to bid them farewell and headed on to my next stop– the Penang Secret Avatar Garden! Before I got to see the garden, I had to pass by the Thai Pak Koong temple. Near the temple was a topiary garden. There were also lots of animal stone sculptures surrounding the topiaries.

This was past seven in the evening and it was nearing sunset so I rushed to the shore and was just in time to capture this moment!

And what better way to cap off all of my adventures for the day than to behold the beauty of the Avatar Garden!

So that’s how I spent my Day One at Penang Island! Day Two was exploring the heritage site in George Town, which I wrote about on my previous blog post.

I will talk about my Container Hotel Penang experience on the next blog. Ciao!


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